Saturday, October 19, 2019

It's Totally Okay




Growing up, I was allowed to read Lord of the Rings, but not Harry Potter. I had friends who read both, and friends who read neither. My friends who read HP were kind enough to not bully me about it, though they might occasionally reference a quote or two. And when I was around my friends who didn't read either, I did my best to not constantly be talking about Tolkien's works.

Because it's okay, y'all.

It's totally okay to not read a book or series because your parents told you that you weren't allowed. People should not mock you because you're obeying your parents, and you shouldn't feel that they're being cruel.

It's totally okay to not read a book because you don't think you'll like it, whether it's because of the genre, the reviews, or the likelihood of magic or lust or other content you'd prefer not to read.

It's totally okay to not finish a book because you didn't like what you found inside. You won't be labeled a coward for stopping right then and there and never looking back.

It's totally okay to not read a book because you don't like the author or don't like what the author promotes/is promoting. 

It's totally okay to write low-star-kinda-bad but honest reviews. We should be respectful, but we should give our opinions.

It's totally okay to not want to read a book simply because you have zero interest in it. Or because you don't want to pay the money to buy it and can't get it at the library.

I promise. Life will go on. Maybe you won't understand a quote or a meme. But that's it. Life just continues.

Giving and Taking Recommendations

As readers, we should be very willing to give book recommendations. And we should be very understanding when someone says they're not going to take a recommendation. I don't throw LotR at my friends who won't read it because of convictions or simple disinterest. If they ask for book recs, I might laugh and say, "Well, there's always LotR!" and then I go on to recommend books I know they'll be likely pick up and actually enjoy.

As readers, we should not feel shy about saying, "oh, I'm not interested in that" or "my parents won't let me read it" or "after looking it up, I think I'll pass". Everyone is different. Everyone has different interests, reading levels, convictions, parents, and spending habits.

And that's beautiful.

-Julian Daventry